Terms of reference
[Referral to the Commission pursuant to section 5(1)(a) of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000 (Vic) on 29 October 2013.]
The Victorian Law Reform Commission is asked to review the common law rule of forfeiture and the circumstances in which it should no longer be appropriate for a person who has killed another person to benefit from that death, including by way of survivorship or as a beneficiary under a will or under intestacy rules.
The Commission should consider existing exceptions to the forfeiture rule, such as where a person is found not guilty of a killing because of mental impairment.
The Commission should make recommendations on the need for legislative or other reform in Victoria to clarify when and/or how the forfeiture rule should be applied, or to replace the common law.
If legislative reform is recommended, the Commission should propose specific legislative mechanisms for giving effect to these recommendations.
The Commission should consider judicial approaches and legislative developments in both Australian and overseas jurisdictions.
The Commission is to report by 15 September 2014.